Lumpectomies Might Be A Better Choice For Some Breast Cancer Patients

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer may not always have to face radical mastectomies to fight this disease. Researchers have found that lumpectomies combined with radiotherapy have much more promising results than mastectomies alone.

Those findings come from a study that was conducted in the Netherlands involving some 37,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer. The observational study looked at the relative death risks for patients 10 years out from treatments. As it turned out, women who underwent breast conserving therapy (BCT) had a 20 percent lower risk of death than those who underwent mastectomies alone. The caveat was that lumpectomies were combined with radiation to produce the results. The study involved women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2004. About 58.4 percent of women included in the study underwent breast-conserving therapy.

These findings might be of particular interest to the estimated 246,000 American women who are diagnosed with invasive breast cancers each year. The study’s findings have promoted some oncologists to say that breast-conserving therapy should be considered as a viable treatment option to the more invasive mastectomy. This is especially so when tumors are considered small and cancer has not advanced.

An estimated 40,000 American women die from breast cancer each year. This disease when caught early is often highly treatable. With that in mind, women are urged to undergo routine screenings that include self-estimations and annual checkups. Mammograms are indicated on a routine basis to screen for this disease as women enter middle age.

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer should discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. While breast-conserving therapy has shown very promising results, it simply may not be recommended in all cases. When it is indicated, however, this option can help women effectively fight this disease while enabling them to retain most of their breast tissue.

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